March 18, 2005

ANWR Exploration In Senate Budget

A few days ago an amendment that sought to close ANWR to development by removing it from a Senate budget resolution was defeated 51-49. It's still not certain yet, since the House did not pass it. The conference work will have to work it out. Normally the House is much more positive to the idea of exploration in ANWR.

Let's remember a few things. 1) We're look at hundreds of thousands of new jobs created across the US - estimates range from 250k to 750k. 2) The Alaskans favor it by a wide margin and this is their state we're discussing. 3) The only indigenous tribe, the Inupiat, favor exploration by a huge margin.

Importantly and relevantly, 4) the development is NOT A THREAT to the local wildlife. The caribou population at Prudhoe Bay, a Norhtern Alaska oil site, went from a few thousand when the project was started in 1969 to over 20,000 today. They had a sevenfold increase - even though their breeding grounds and main range are right over the developed areas. It's not going to kill the local animals. Alarmist hogwash.

Remember it like this: environmentalism pretends to be science-based, but it's not. It's emotional and religious; anything with strongly held values is going to involve emotions. Environmentalism goes beyond emotional to have irrationally holy places. For some reason these lands cannot be touched by the boot of (too many white-skinned) people (forget the fact that a tribe of locals live there). It's a sacred place, like a pagan shrine. Even though it's possible to develop it without harming the wildlife and there's almost a certainty that the caribou will be fine, they want to preserve the stupid and irrational idea that this part of the world is untouched. It's a religion, except God is replaced by nature.

What's interesting is that the Indians already live there and tourists go there. What they really want is to fight off industrialization - yet I'm sure that 99.9% of environmentalists don't live like the Unabomber. It's fine for them to live in their homes and apartments, where no doubt thousands of bugs, birds, squirrels and other creatures would reside (not to mention trees and plants) but if people in Wyoming or Utah or Alaska want to develop it's an absurd crime.

Don't listen to these irrational hypocrites. The caribou are going to be just fine, and the Inupiat and Alaskans - as well as the hundreds of thousands of Americans with new jobs - will all be better off. Are we going to keep a half million people unemployed and ignore the wishes of the locals so that they can be held to an irrationally strict standard that was not imposed on New York, New Jersey, LA or San Francisco? Hell no. That's crazy. Hypocritical, irrational and crazy.

The sensible choice is to develop these lands safely and with a minimum of harm to the indigenous animals and local tribe. For an overview of the issue and source links, I've long since written an issue aritcle on the subject: ANWR Development.

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